In order to understand documentary wedding photography, we have to have a clear idea of what photojournalism is in general.
The photo journalist collects and publishes pictures to tell a story. First, the images are arranged in sequences chronologically, and secondly, the images objectively show the most important moments of events, grasping the “heartbreaks” of the story.
Last but not least, they show what was happening to the participants of the event. Therefore, the photographer is always ready for action instead of setting up subjects. This method is able to show more vividly the events where subjects can be seen in their own natural environment and in natural light. So the result is much more lifelike and vibrant.
Brief history of wedding photojournalism
Photojournalism became popular in the middle of 20th century when Life, Sports Illustrated and Daily Graphic began to use it. As photographic technology has become increasingly mobile, photojournalism has evolved as well. Today, there is no need for rolls of film and uncomfortable lighting, digital devices can do much more. The new digital technology allows photographers to focus on what the best are: to capture moments of events and tell stories.
Wedding photojournalism is very much like his older brother. The style that Dennis Reggie has developed to a perfection (he is considered the godfather of wedding photojournalism) took the wedding photography industry in a hurry.
This new and interesting method dramatically changed the rules of wedding photography. It ended the practice of temporarily interrupting the wedding day with posing for photographs. Wedding photojournalists record the events as they happen in their own natural way. With the constant observation of the participants photographers are able to record spontaneous emotions and feelings during the wedding.
The strength of style
Scrolling their album, married people never feel that they have seen their pictures somewhere, since every wedding is different. Their event was photographed in a unique way as the events unfolded. The images, in addition, tell a lot of tiny stories, which are often not less interesting than the main event. In addition to these benefits, the style itself is less time-consuming and does not interfere with the natural flow of events.
The weakness of style
While photojournalism is much more diverse than traditional wedding photography, of course there are disadvantages.The biggest problem is lack of control. Couples sometimes want special setups or poses that can not be shot “on the go”. The quality of photo-journalistic images is generally slightly lower than traditional studio photography due to the lack of control and professional lighting.